Andy Rubin is best known as the creator of Android. But in 2014, he left that all behind to create his own startup called Playground, a company focused on financially backing futuristic ideas that will shape our world — hopefully for the better. Today, Wired published a deeper look into Andy Rubin's day-to-day at Playground, and it may very well be responsible for the destruction of the human race. Now that Rubin is no longer at Google, he spends most of his time pondering and financially backing the future of artificial intelligence. You know, that technology that keeps some of the world's greatest minds awake at night?
Let's play a quick game and see if you think this excerpt is Andy Rubin's idea for AI or the original pitch idea for Skynet:
For AI to reach its true potential...we need to bring it into the physical world. And the way to do that is to create thousands of devices that pull information from their environment: text and images, sure, but also sound, location, weather, and other sensory data... fill the world with these data-gathering machines, the better to feed and train those massive neural networks. This will create a virtuous feedback loop — new machines will make the underlying AI smarter, which will allow for even better machines.
The answer is the former.
To be fair, Rubin's startup does have some fascinating ideas, including a vision of recruiting everyone to help build the Next Big Thing and creating a modular hardware playground (hence the name) where thinkers can focus on ideas, not where and how they're going to get the parts they need. He also wants build a dashcam and hand it out for free in exchange for the data it records, so he can create a real-time map of the world. Uh, sure!
It's all very ambitious, bold and filled with futurism. If you love reading about hopeful technologists building our future utopia/dystopia, check out Wired's latest story.